The NYPD has been doing a sneaky sting operation lately in the subway. They leave a bag of goodies sitting by itself somewhere in the system, and wait for someone to pick it up. So a bag of electronics is left sitting near a bench or on a train seat. Somebody comes by and sees it assuming that it was forgotten. If they take the bait, they get arrested.
Aquarius Cheers saw a Verizon bag with things in it. He picked it up and walked onto the next train instead of turning it over to the police officer standing nearby. Because he did not turn the goods over, that’s a theft according to the police. Cheers was arrested, however the charges were dropped.
So what’s the point? Why would the NYPD want to crack down on people taking forgotten goods? Is there an epidemic of people leaving stuff and coming back only to find that it’s been taken?
No, it’s much deeper. The NYPD is banking on the fact that the “usual suspects” will take the bait. Picking up that lucky bag means that they have the right to arrest and search you. So, they are really hopping to catch larger felons, people carrying weapons, drugs, etc. It has very little to with the merchandise being taken in the first place.